steps-linkedin-practice

Social Media networking can greatly increase your exposure in your community as a therapist. And exposure is one of the most important elements to having a thriving practice.

In the old days–about a decade ago–exposure was accomplished through three main methods: local networking, online advertising and a solid website. There are of course other methods, but these three prevailed.

In recent years we have a fourth pillar to success: social networking. In a matter of minutes you can reach thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people. Never before in marketing history has there been such an affordable and pervasive mode of getting out your message.

Reaching large quantities of people does have an impact. The more your services become a household name in your community, the more people will refer clients to you. However, even though quantity will create exposure it doesn’t necessarily create trust.

For therapists, doctors, nurses, other referral sources and community members to refer to you they must trust you. And trust is developed through forming a relationship.

Which is where an effective social media campaign comes in.

In order to create trust through social media in your community you must focus on quality within the sheer quantity of people you are reaching. When you develop quality local relationships online, you will gain both exposure and trust.

LinkedIn is an excellent social network for therapists to create local quality relationships based on exposure and trust. LinkedIn is unique in that it is entirely dedicated to career professionals like yourself.

Using these 5 simple steps on LinkedIn you will find that you can easily increase your local referral network and see an increase in your caseload…

#1 Optimize Your Profile: Before you can make an impact on people in LinkedIn you need a profile that looks polished and professional. Linked rates your profile and if you can achieve all-star status then you know you’ve made the mark. Add your industry, your current employment in private practice, two or more previous positions, your education, skill sets, and background images.

#2 Grow Your Connections: The power of any social network remains in the connections you make. Add any of your previous relevant professional contacts through the LinkedIn email service uploader. Also, take the time a few times a  week to review LinkedIn suggestions of new connections. LinkedIn will naturally find professionals in your local communities that are important to build a relationship to.

#3 Join Groups: LinkedIn has many groups both local and national pertinent to the field of mental health, your specializations, modalities, and location. Get involved in the conversations. Make personal connections in groups and discuss ways you can support each other. Share articles and post regularly to gain the trust of other group members and to position yourself as an expert.

#4 LinkedIn Publishing: You can publish long-form posts on LInkedIn. These are essentially blog posts that are placed on your profile page, sent to your connections and shared with the entire LinkedIn community. Choose a niche to write about and stick with it for many months. This will establish you as an expert in a certain area of expertise and help you gain trust in your referral base.

#5 Engage with Your Connections Directly: Take time each day to follow connections that are very active in LinkedIn and have relevance to growing your practice. Engage with their posts by sharing, commenting and liking what they have to say. Go deeper by engaging with people who are engaging with your connections’ posts. Reach out to those people to create new connections.

If you follow these five simple steps you will find that you can create a huge amount of exposure and trust to quality referral sources in your area in a short amount of time. Just make sure to set aside some time every day to stay consistent in your efforts so your presence is well noted.

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.

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